Helena Ifeka (Third Six Pupil)

Year of Call: 2020

PRACTICE AREAS

Commercial Law | Discrimination & Equality | Employment | Human Rights | Personal Injury | Public & Administrative Law

OVERVIEW

Helena practices in employment, personal injury, and civil/commercial law. She is a strong trial advocate who in the past year has appeared at appellate level as well as in the ET and civil courts. Helena is pragmatic and commercially minded. Her twelve years of experience outside of law, working as a commercial director and programme manager, enables her to quickly identify problems and propose practical solutions. She has excellent interpersonal skills developed from leading teams of 80 people across multiple geographies and from a decade of C-level client and stakeholder management.

Helena worked as a Legal Officer for the Baptist Union for one year while completing her BPTC. She advised on property and trust law, GDPR, and assisted in preparation for the IICSA enquiry into child protection in religious organisations.

Helena completed pupillage at a leading commercial set where she gained experience in group actions, personal injury, health & safety, and public & administrative law.

Helena won the National Client Interviewing Competition in 2018 and was a national finalist in the BPP Mooting Competition and a semi-finalist in the Rosamund Smith Mooting Competition in 2019.

Employment & Discrimination
Helena acts for both claimants and respondents. She has acted in cases involving unfair dismissal, redundancy, and worker status. Her recent trials have concerned sham redundancies, race discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, and probationary employees.

Helena frequently advises on claims with a disability element. She recently advised in a complex case involving allegations of race and sex discrimination, whistleblowing and victimisation, which successfully settled pre-trial. She acted in an unfair dismissal case involving interference with Article 9 and 10 ECHR rights arising from inappropriate social media posts, and assisted senior counsel with case research for use in a high-profile 12-day case involving alleged breaches of Article 9 ECHR rights.

Helena acts for clients in Judicial Mediations and works pragmatically to achieve a sensible outcome.

Independent Investigations
Helena recently completed a highly sensitive investigation, and also assisted leading and senior counsel in two other investigations in the education sector. She brings a wealth of relevant professional experience to this area of her practice, having frequently conducted internal audits and reviews in her previous career.

Personal Injury & Clinical Negligence
Helena regularly appears in the county courts for claimants in personal injury claims and infant approvals. She advises on merits in personal injury claims and drafts pleadings.

Pro Bono
Helena will always consider pro bono instructions.

Prior to the Bar
Before retraining in law, for twelve years, Helena ran business transformation programmes and worked as an IT and management consultant at C-level for clients in the private and public sectors. She has highly developed commercial skills combined with extensive experience in systems and business implementations and outsourcing, which complement her abilities as a barrister. Helena's roles included commercial director on a multi-million account, delivery lead for an offshore IT services company, and business integration architect on a national transformation programme. She also defined and ran an organisation restructuring exercise in a unionised company.

AWARDS

Middle Temple Queen Mother Scholarship

Oxford University Press Prize (Top-Ranked Student in Year) (Oxford Brookes)

Fulbright Scholarship (Australia)

Arthur Macquarie Scholarship (University of Sydney)

University Medal (University of Sydney)

English Society Award (University of Sydney)

APPOINTMENTS AND MEMBERSHIPS

ELA

ILS

Advocate

QUALIFICATIONS

BPTC (Very Competent) – BPP

GDL (Distinction) – Oxford Brookes

MPhil – Columbia University, USA

MA – Columbia University, USA

BA Honours (1st Class, Medal) – University of Sydney, Australia

HIGHLIGHT CASES

Renewi UK Services Ltd v Pamment [2021] 10 WLUK 364: appeal against a finding of unfair dismissal; health and safety; drugs at work.

Pamment v Renewi [2021] UKET 3201672/2020: reinstatement.

Musa v Samworth Bros [2021]: unfair dismissal, reinstatement, reengagement.

Caparo v MarketAxess Europe Ltd [2021]: employee and contract worker status under the Equality Act 2010; reasonable adjustments.

A v B [2022]: unfair dismissal; race discrimination; social media.